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2011 Peter Franus Cabernet Sauvignon
Peter has been making Cabernet in Napa Valley for more than 30 years, and his experience, skills and intuition, combined with world class fruit, produce an elegant, balanced, and deliciously focused wine. This Cabernet has a concentrated backbone that is balanced by fresh dark fruits and a lightly lush feel in the mouth. The deep flavors of lavender, black cherry, a hint of coriander, vanilla, white pepper and more all leap around the glass. It’s a wine that is seductive now, but has enough gentle structure to age well, too.
Hard to believe, but I have produced wine in Napa Valley for over 30 years—mind-boggling sometimes when I think of it! In every year of those three decades, I have made a Cabernet Sauvignon, first at Mount Veeder Winery, and then under my own label since 1992. I have worked with numerous vineyards over the years, and with confidence, I can say, I know Cabernet Sauvignon. As a result, I have had the good fortune to connect and develop great relationships with the best growers in the valley. That led me to two phenomenal vineyards—both certified organic—that are now the sources of my Cabernet Sauvignon. We are fortunate to have established long term relationships with each. Howell Mountain needs little introduction. Located in the northeast corner of Napa Valley, the resulting red wines from the region are typically powerful, muscular, and intense. Although many choose to bottle 100% Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon on its own, I think it best serves as the backbone of a wine and needs to be finessed a bit. Let me introduce Taplin Road. Joseph Phelps and Heitz are legends in Napa Valley. They are on Taplin Road. Nudged between them is my eastern hillside vineyard—clone 341—offering grapes with amazing charm and elegance—the perfect foil to Howell Mountain. For me, the combination offers the great harmony and balance I seek in all of my wines. 2011 was a complicated vintage. A cool wet spring diminished crop levels in many vineyards and late ripening vineyards were problematic. On the other hand, cool conditions allowed wonderful flavor development with ripeness achieved at lower sugar levels. If you were one of the fortunate ones, you had the opportunity to produce some wonderful wines. Call us fortunate! There seems to be a race on for elegant and lower alcohol wines. Here you go! Vibrant, vibrant, vibrant, are my initial notes for our 2011 Cabernet. Medium ruby in color, aromas suggest black cherry, anise, ripe plum, cedar and vanilla. Aromas launch and sustain the palate with a spectrum of flavors, great acidity, and a firm yet rounded structure appropriate for the wine. Balance being our mantra, we are excited by our latest offering. We tend to be low key, but let me say this: One of our most exciting release announcements in years!
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